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Last year we brought you news of increasing complaints about Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission. Last week, a class-action lawsuit was filed involving a wide range of Ford products currently in production. The transmission in question is Ford’s 10R80 automatic, and several issues are coming to light from details in the lawsuit.

For starters, there are the models that are part of the lawsuit:

2017 to present Ford F-150

2018 to present Ford Expedition

2018 to present Mustang

2019 to present Ford Ranger

2018 to present Lincoln Navigator

Why was the Ford 10-speed transmission lawsuit issued?

White 2023 Ford Ranger off-road uses a 10-speed automatic transmission
2023 Ford Ranger | Ford

The lawsuit alleges that Ford refuses to issue a recall for the 10-speed covering a wide range of issues. In the case, the filing says these include “life-threatening” problems. It continues that Ford says everything is functioning normally, refusing to perform repairs, according to Car Complaints.

There have been several technical service bulletins addressing some issues. The lawsuit alleges those show there are serious problems with the 10R80. The filing continues that Ford reprograms the transmission when owners complain about issues. 

Ford says these transmissions have an adaptive shift strategy, so the computer learns the transmission’s functions to improve shifts. But when the transmission goes through reprogramming, it essentially is re-learning the appropriate shifts. The first technical service bulletin is from 2018. 

What are the Ford 10-speed transmission issues?

White 2023 Ford Mustang in front of building
2023 Ford Mustang | Ford

From one technical service bulletin: “Overhaul the main control valve body and/or perform an adaptive learning drive cycle. Advise the customer that (the process) may result in firmer than normal upshifts and downshifts for several days.”

Owners complain of “skipping” gears during driving. This occurs during upshifts and downshifts and can include “clunking” noises. Another owner alleges his new Ranger shifts so hard he can hear banging noises. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has numerous complaints over the 10R80 transmission. In several complaints, owners say once they receive their vehicles back from transmission reprogramming, the issues are more severe than before. 

Are there recalls over the transmission problems?

Red 2023 Ford F-150 Rattler rear 3/4 view
2023 Ford F-150 Rattler | Ford

In 2021, Ford did issue a recall for about 50,000 F-150 trucks for transmissions randomly shifting into Neutral. Then, once owners could stop the trucks, the transmission automatically went into Park. Last year Ford added several recommendations, including replacing shift cable clips and other component replacements. It did extend some warranties while trying to determine fixes for the complaints. And interestingly, the 2023 F-150 Raptor comes with its own seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

In all, the lawsuit alleges the transmissions pose an “unreasonable risk of serious bodily harm and death.” The plaintiffs are seeking $5 million in damages. The lawsuit filing is in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.


Lawsuit Alert: The Ford F-150 10R80 Transmission May Be Deadly